A BRIEF HISTORY IN TIME
It was in 1973 in the steel city of Sheffield where I was born. Most of my childhood and teenage days were spent in the playground and on the athletics track, trailing in at the back and receiving the loudest applause. I loved competing in all the events I was thrown into including the events that I would struggle to do because of my chronic Asthma. From 100m hurdles to the Hammer I always gained at least one point for the club (Rotherham Harriers) as I knew this would mean the club wouldn't drop down a league.
In 1991 I found the event I would excel in, catapulting into history and then later into the Commonwealth Pole Vault record books on the 11th June 1995. In order to gain better competition I had to leave R.H.A.C and joined Sale Harriers around 1996/7. Once I switched clubs every club competition thereafter became like a AAA's championship. I helped the girls of Sale Harriers in 1998 win the Jubilee British Athletic Cup, which sent us in May 1999 to Greece for the European Championship Club Cups. This was again replicated in May 2001 when myself and the team competed in Madrid, Spain at the E.C.C.C.
It was January 1999 when my life got flipped and turned upside down. I crashed back to earth missing the mats and badly broke my wrist at the North of England Indoor Championships. What I didn't break I dislocated, according to the surgeon I was lucky to come out of surgery with a hand on! I had to have my wrist reconstructed and then later pinned. I was back training and vaulting that year in March wanting to prove the doctors & surgeons wrong, which I did. Setting myself small goals so I was able to compete at the E.C.C.C in Greece. My technique had helped me gain my previous heights and not my fitness (due to my Asthma), I had worked hard on my fitness and just as hard to be able to leave the ground with a pole in my hand. It was to be my fitness over the next few years that got me over the heights. The pain in my wrist was hindering my Pole Vault training, it was not muscular pain as I first thought, it was bone pain and reality would later the following year set in.
Due to the restrictions in the movement of my wrist I wasn't able to get myself into the upside down position required to reach high heights, so the surgeons were partly correct back in 1999. In January 2002 exactly three years later at the North of England Indoor Championships after being in pain every time I attempted to go upside down I realised that perhaps this was my last year competing. I went on to win the outdoor N.o.E Championships and subsequently decided that it was to be my last competition.